Future Internet2014, 6(3), 433-456; doi:10.3390/fi6030433 - published online 30 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The web and the social web play an increasingly important role as an information source for Members of Parliament and their assistants, journalists, political analysts and researchers. It provides important and crucial background information, like reactions to political events and comments made by the general public. The case study presented in this paper is driven by two European parliaments (the Greek and the Austrian parliament) and targets an effective exploration of political web archives. In this paper, we describe semantic technologies deployed to ease the exploration of the archived web and social web content and present evaluation results.
Future Internet2014, 6(3), 414-432; doi:10.3390/fi6030414 - published online 27 June 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: As governments develop open data strategies, such efforts reflect the advent of the Internet, the digitization of government, and the emergence of meta-data as a wider socio-economic and societal transformational. Within this context the purpose of this article is twofold. First, we seek to both situate and examine the evolution and effectiveness of open data strategies in the Canadian public sector, with a particular focus on municipal governments that have led this movement. Secondly, we delve more deeply into—if and how, open data can facilitate more open and innovative forms of governance enjoining an outward-oriented public sector (across all government levels) with an empowered and participative society. This latter vantage point includes four main and inter-related dimensions: (i) conceptualizing public value and public engagement; (ii) media relations—across traditional intermediaries and channels and new social media; (iii) political culture and the politics of privacy in an increasingly data-centric world; and (iv) federated architectures and the alignment of localized, sub-national, and national strategies and governance mechanisms. This article demonstrates how each of these dimensions includes important determinants of not only open data’s immediate impacts but also its catalytic ability to forge wider and collective innovation and more holistic governance renewal.
Future Internet2014, 6(2), 397-413; doi:10.3390/fi6020397 - published online 18 June 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The public-oriented goals of the open government movement promise increased transparency and accountability of governments, enhanced citizen engagement and participation, improved service delivery, economic development and the stimulation of innovation. In part, these goals are to be achieved by making more and more government information public in reusable formats and under open licences. This paper identifies three broad privacy challenges raised by open government. The first is how to balance privacy with transparency and accountability in the context of “public” personal information. The second challenge flows from the disruption of traditional approaches to privacy based on a collapse of the distinctions between public and private sector actors. The third challenge is that of the potential for open government data—even if anonymized—to contribute to the big data environment in which citizens and their activities are increasingly monitored and profiled.
Future Internet2014, 6(2), 378-396; doi:10.3390/fi6020378 - published online 27 May 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Tweet My Street is a cross-disciplinary project exploring the extent to which data derived from Twitter can reveal more about spatial and temporal behaviours and the meanings attached to these locally. This is done with a longer-term view to supporting the coproduction and delivery of local services, complaint mechanisms and horizontal community support networks. The project has involved the development of a web-based software application capable of retrieving, storing and visualising geo-located “tweets” (and associated digital content) from Twitter’s Firehose. This has been piloted in Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) and has proven a scalable tool that can aid the analysis of social media data geographically. Beyond explaining efforts to analyse pilot data via this software, this paper elucidates three methodological challenges encountered during early collaboration. These include issues relating to “proximity” with subjects, ethics and critical questions about scholars’ digital responsibilities during the neogeographic turn.
Future Internet2014, 6(2), 359-377; doi:10.3390/fi6020359 - published online 27 May 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A considerable amount of information, particularly in image form, is shared on the web through social networking sites. If any of this content is worthy of preservation, who decides what is to be preserved and based on what criteria. This paper explores the potential for public libraries to assume this role of community digital repositories through the creation of digital collections. Thirty public library users and thirty librarians were solicited from the Indianapolis metropolitan area to evaluate five images selected from Flickr in terms of their value to public library digital collections and their worthiness of long-term preservation. Using a seven-point Likert scale, participants assigned a value to each image in terms of its importance to self, family and society. Participants were then asked to explain the reasoning behind their valuations. Public library users and librarians had similar value estimations of the images in the study. This is perhaps the most significant finding of the study, given the importance of collaboration and forming partnerships for building and sustaining community collections and archives.
Future Internet2014, 6(2), 337-358; doi:10.3390/fi6020337 - published online 14 May 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The recent emergence of e-government and online social media offers opportunities for governments to meet the demands and expectations of citizens, to provide value-added services and overcome barriers of reduced public budgets. Twitter is the most popular microblogging platform that can facilitate interaction and engagement. It is widely used by government agencies, public affairs practitioners, non-government organizations, members of Parliament and politicians. The paper aims to explore the use of Twitter by government agencies in Greece and record Twitter followers’ preferences regarding which accounts they follow. The paper records 27 Greek e-government Twitter accounts and their 107,107 followers. It uses a data mining technique, association rules and two multivariate statistical methods, multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis and proposes the use of a similarity measure, suitable for describing Twitter account proximity. In this way, the paper locates accounts that share followers. Groups of Twitter accounts are located, and their common orientation is described. The analysis not only describes Twitter account similarities and group formation, but to some extent, the followers’ preferences and habits of obtaining information through Twitter, as well.